Third of pre-apprenticeship students become paid apprentices

ABOUT a third of all students of a "pre-apprenticeship" program in New South Wales have gone on to start their trade certificates, a new report by the state's Group Training Association has found.

The report, to be released today, assessed more than 1000 young people who started a pre-apprenticeship course, similar to school-based apprenticeships.

Of those who started the program, about one-third went on to a full-time, paid apprenticeship, a positive outcome for young people despite record levels of youth unemployment.

Figures released last week by the ABS showed the youth unemployment rate, of those aged 15 to 24, reached more than 14% last month, steadily increasing over several years.

While the Federal Government aims to address the problem by cutting off long-term young unemployed people from their income support for six months, the NSW program shows another way.

GTA NSW executive officer Naomi Dinnen said the report showed it was possible to manage the "skills mismatch" between young people and jobs.

"On the one hand, we have almost 56,000 15-19 year olds struggling to get a foot on the career ladder and, on the other businesses are finding it difficult to access the skilled staff they need to grow," she said.

"This report is evidence that there are policy solutions available to stem the tide of youth unemployment and at the same time help businesses recruit the right people for jobs.

She said similar programs should be "top of the list" as the government looks to find solutions to rising youth unemployment.


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